Monthly Archives: February 2019

Brown Booby in south san Diego Bay

An adult female Brown Booby seems to have taken up residence on buoy # 34 ( same buoy as used by the Nazca Boobies last winter), in south San Diego Bay, National City.

That buoy is visible from the Silver Strand side (i.e. Attu Ave.) So not great looks at that distance, and Brown Boobies may be easier to see elsewhere along the coast.

If you're in the area and checking bay waterfowl and the like it may be worth a look, and that would require a scope.

She sits up in the top section were the number is visible. I saw her there at 7 a.m. this morning and she did fly out twice during the day, both times toward Fiddlers Cove,

but returned after fishing. She was back on the buoy when I left tonight.


Dave Povey


Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Large flock of cowbirds at Santee Lakes

I birded Santee Lakes Tuesday morning and did not see any unusual or unexpected species.  What was noteworthy was a large flock of Brown-headed Cowbirds all perched in one large, bare cottonwood at the south end of Lake 4.  After a couple of tries, I got a count of at least 200 individuals.

Jeremiah Stock
Santee, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Plumbeous, Hooded, and miscellanea

Today, Feb 12th, a female HOODED ORIOLE was in south San Diego and a likely multi-year returning but very sporadic PLUMBEOUS VIREO was in the tipus in se. Balboa Park at 28th X Beech where the multi-year returning Black-and-white Warbler hangs out (but which I missed). A Lark Sparrow there was actually quite rare for Balboa Park.  Elsewhere in the park, a White-breasted Nuthatch was along the south edge, and single Bullock's Orioles were at the Grape Street dog park and near the Museum of Natural History.  The PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER continued at the Tijuana River mouth on Feb 11th. At San Dieguito Lagoon in Del Mar, the REDDISH EGRET since Dec continued on Feb 10th, and there were also a couple locally rare Common Goldeneyes. Back on the 6th, a couple Bullock's Orioles were along Coronado Avenue in Coronado, and the wintering adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL continued faithful to the jetty in front of the Hotel del Coronado at low tide.

–Paul Lehman,  San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

new Orchard Oriole

On Sunday morning there is a new Orchard Oriole in town, this one a young male in the yard at 2252 Leon Avenue in Nestor. And, no surprise, the Pacific Golden-Plover continues at the Tijuana estuary, right near the river mouth with Black bellieds.

Paul Lehman, San Diego

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Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Bald Eagle at Santee Lakes

I just saw a white-headed adult Bald Eagle fly by at Santee Lakes.  The bird was seen near Lake 5 flying north at about 9:05 this morning.

Jeremiah Stock
Santee, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Feb. 8, 2019 pelagic scouting

Four of us did a pre- San Diego Audubon Bird Festival scouting trip offshore on Friday Feb. 8, 2018. Very nice conditions with a small swell and east breeze.

Birds of note;

A clean looking Sooty Shearwater was on the Nine Mile Bank.

Four Scripps's Murrelets were 7 n.miles west of Pacific Beach. A little early but expected by week three or four of Feb.

A Rhinoceros Auklet was seen at the North end of the Nine Mile Bank. This species nearly absent last year.  I recorded only one in all of 2018. (20 in 2017

all but one in first half).

Two Surfbirds were on the Mission Bay jetties. One on the north jetty, one on the south jetty.

A Peregrine Falcon chasing a Rock Pigeon a half mile off the north Mission Beach Jetty  was a bit odd.  The pigeon would have been doomed if not for

the intervention of a Western Gull.

Overall inshore areas were very quiet. Offshore, the south end of the U.S. portion of the Nine Mile Bank and on down in to Mexican waters, had a huge

feeding congregation. Mostly Black-vented Shearwaters, and California Gulls, both in the thousands., That area held most of the Cassin's Auklets, a

scattering of Bonaparte's Gulls, and our lone Sooty Shearwater, Brown Booby and Glaucous-winged Gull.

The area six or seven miles west of Bird Rock La Jolla had even a larger feeding congregation. That one in the "tens" of thousands, and covering several

square miles. The birds here feeding on N. Anchovy. Again mostly Black-vents, and Cal Gulls, but also a mix of cormorants, pelicans, and other gulls.

Interestingly a lone Red Phalarope, a several Cassin's Auklets were in the mob. Again a scattering of Bonaparte's Gulls, as well as few a Heermann's Gulls

We saw three leucistic Black-vented Shearwaters on the day. One in particular made an impression, as it was entirely white except for the dark bill, eye

and flight feathers. Like a mini "Masked Booby". I'm sure one of the guys will have some photos of that one.

Last we had a nice mammal show. Particularly a cooperative pod of Risso's Dolphin 9 miles west of Mission Bay.

Sea Surface Temperatures 56.8  (normal) to 61.9 F  (Warm !) Mostly 59 F.

Mission Bay;

Brant   7

Bufflehead   1

Surf Scoter   4

Common Loon    4

Western Grebe   14

Eared Grebe    1

Double-crested Cormorant   15

Pelagic Cormorant   1

Brown Pelican   40

Great Blue Heron   4

Snowy Egret   1

Whimberl     1

Spotted Sandpiper   6

Surfbird    2

Black Turnstone    3

peep sp. 25

Heermann's Gull    1

Western Gull    30

Royal Tern  5

parrot sp.   8



Surf Scoter   70

Pacific Loon   5

Sooty Shearwater    1

Black-vented Shearwater    5500

Brown Booby    1

Brandt's Cormorant   400

Pelagic Cormorant   1

Brown Pelican   525

Peregrine Falcon   1

Red Phalarope     5

Scripps's Murrelet    4

Cassin's Auklet    72

Rhinoceros Auklet   1

Bonaparte's Gull   95

Heermann's Gull   20

Western Gull   1500

California Gull    9000

Herring Gull    1

Glaucous-winged Gull    1

Royal Tern    1

Rock Pigeon   1



Gray Whale   3

Risso's Dolphin     25

Pacific White-sided Dolphin   2-3

Common Dolphin   75

California Sea Lion    4



Dave Povey



p.s. The San Diego Audubon Bird Festival pelagic trips still have a few spots left on the Saturday March 2nd. trip, more spots available

on the Sunday, Mar. 3rd. trip.

We plan to visit these same areas. Contact  or call 1 858 273-7800

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Stilt Sandpiper not found at Tijuana River–south of sod farm

I looked three times for the Stilt Sandpiper this morning with no luck.
I arrived about 8 a.m., and Anthony Fife was already there. He had seen two Greater Yellowlegs and that was it in terms of peeps. Lots of gulls and long-billed curlews.

I left went to the ponds (nothing exciting, other than a huge coyote) and returned about 9 a.m., and a group of about 30 GRYE flew in, along with 2 or 3 dowitchers. But no Stilt. Stan Whalens arrived a little after that we scoped for a good 1/2 hour but still no Stilt.

We both left for the Bird & Butterfly (fairly quiet, no Magpie Jays), and returned to try for the stilt one more time. No luck.

Larry Edwards
San Diego, CA
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

next san elijo monthly bird count monday 11 feb

The next San Elijo monthly bird count will be Monday 11 February.  Counts are conducted by volunteers on the second Monday of each month, rain or shine.  Please spread the word or join us if you can (no RSVP required).  Meet at 7:30 am at the north end of Rios Ave in Solana Beach (north from Lomas Santa Fe Dr, west of I-5) to divide into groups to cover different subareas.  A compilation generally follows around noon at the nature center on Manchester Ave (bring your own lunch).
R. Patton
San Diego, CA

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports

Stilt Sandpiper Continues…

for anyone planning on heading down, the Stilt Sandpiper continues this morning (02/07/19 @0730) at the Radio Control Club just south of the Sod Farms. First driveway south of the Dairymart Rd Bridge. The water is low and the yellowlegs/stilt have moved in very close. I had to stand on the rocks to see the bird because it was so close. It then flew to the north side bank just south of the bridge. The gulls has moved in this morning and taken over much of the “lettuce” patch.

Anthony “TooFly”
La Mesa
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports